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STYLING | 7 out of 10
picks up styling cues from the Malibu sedan
strangely shaped, undersized rear window
Stylish interior design presents well at a distance.
First things first: GM touts the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse as having "an athletic new exterior design," but by design it's essentially a mild refresh of last year's Traverse—with new front- and rear-end styling, Up front, the 2013 Traverse features Chevrolet's new face for crossovers. The grille design has been updated with a three-bar upper and two-bar lower design. Darkened headlights and a more sculpted hood round out the updated front end.
The net effect of these front-end changes is that it, oddly, feels a bit blander compared to the outgoing edition. In back, Chevy started with what was already an utterly forgettable design, and it's gotten better thanks to some new details—mainly in the name of headlamps that bear a resemblance to the Camaro muscle car, but also in some new sculpting, a somewhat different hatch design, and a license plate that's been moved up from the bumper and integrated into the tailgate. Throughout the Traverse there's some additional chrome trim and brightwork.
The Traverse's interior design has been a bit drab, in a class of vehicles that all seem to aim to provide a bit more flair than minivans. The cockpit design is still very simple, with a layout that's pretty much a halfway point between what Chevy uses in its full-size SUVs like the Tahoe and what's in its mainstream sedans like the Malibu. The materials have been updated with soft-touch surfaces for the instrument panel and the upper door trims. Chrome and silver accents, combined with contrasting stitching, add to the new details. At night, blue ambient lighting glows throughout the cabin.
Compared to its cousins, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, the Traverse has neither the edgier design flair of the GMC nor the retro-curvy hints of the Buick Enclave.
The Traverse gets a more attractive front end and interior this year.